Rockets win in overtime 126-121

3-pointers from Rockets game 3 versus Warriors

James Harden - Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets/Facebook

The Houston Rockets squared off against the Golden State Warriors in a must-win game three of the Western Conference semifinals. Houston started strong at the outset, leading by double digits throughout most of the contest. Golden State would narrow the gap late in the game, forcing an overtime stretch that the Rockets would eventually win. Despite the victory, Houston still trails the Warriors two games to one.

Flash Gordon

The Rockets were disinterested in going down 0-3 to the Warriors and Eric Gordon was chief among them in the first half. The sharpshooting guard erupted for 20 first half points to carry the Rockets in the first half en route to a 30 point overall effort.

Owning the glass

The stat bane of the Rockets through the first two games became a deciding factor in their win Saturday night. After being owned on the glass in the games one and two, Houston dominated the boards 55-35. Of those, 17 we're offensive rebounds compared to the Warriors' 7. Those second chance points were critical to the Rockets first win of the series.

PJ

James Harden scored the points, Chris Paul got the assists, and Capela got the rebounds. Most important of all was Pj Tucker's play on the defensive end. Tucker managed to chip in 7 points but it was his late game steals and overall lockdown defense that quietly tilted the game in favor of the Rockets.

Rockets player of the game

James Harden: 41 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists

Warriors player of the game

Kevin Durant: 46 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists

Next up

The Rockets look to even the series on Monday at home at 8:30 pm, central.

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Will all the Texans playmakers be satisfied with their roles in the offense? Composite Getty Image.

ESPN Texans reporter DJ Bien-Aime joined The Mina Kimes Show this weekand shared his thoughts on the Texans outlook this season.

When looking at the Texans offense, Bien-Aime pointed to Houston's play calling as being a possible issue in 2024. Bobby Slowik did a terrific job in his first season as an offensive coordinator. But he will have his hands full keeping all his playmakers happy with Stefon Diggs joining the team, and Nico Collins expecting a ton of looks after signing a massive contract extension.

Which got us thinking, are there enough catches to go around?

We took a deep dive into the 2023 numbers and here's what we found. CJ Stroud averaged 21 completions per game. And here's a breakdown of how many catches his receivers averaged last year.

Nico Collins 5.3 catches per game

Stefon Diggs (with Buffalo) 6.29 catches per game

Dalton Schultz 3.93 catches per game

Tank Dell 4.27 catches per game

Texans running backs 3.05 catches per game

If we add those up, the total is 22.84. Which means the Texans top receivers should expect a similar amount of production compared to last season. Of course, players like Noah Brown, Robert Woods, and Brevin Jordan will take targets away from Stefon Diggs and company from time to time.

But it's good to know that the Texans top pass catchers should produce numbers close to their 2023 averages. Which is a big deal for a player in a contract year like Diggs.

Another thing to note. We're factoring in that the Texans are expected to run out of 11 personnel most of the time. Which means Diggs, Collins, Dell, Schultz, and Mixon will be the only pass catchers on the field the majority of the time.

Are there concerns about the defense?

Both Kimes and Bien-Aime designated Houston's secondary as the big x-factor this year. Bien-Aime named cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. as the only player in the secondary that he truly trusts. Is he right?

Be sure to watch the video above as we react to Kimes and Bien-Aime's outlook for the Texans this year, and share our thoughts on the possible pitfalls the team will have to navigate in the short and long-term.

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